Sri Lanka Daily News. Colombo is drying up—literally. Since the 1980s, the city has lost almost 60 percent of its wetland area. Today, on World Wetlands Day, it’s more crucial than ever to consider why all of this matters—and why the fight to save Colombo’s remaining wetlands is one that should involve each and every one of us.
Roar Media. The importance of Colombo’s wetlands—and indeed wetlands in all major cities, globally—cannot be overstated. They are a vital cog in the health and wellbeing of the city’s ecosystem. They are a natural defence against flooding, provide a no-cost sewage network, and grant fertility to the farms and paddy fields that feed the population.
Growing water scarcity and degradation pose rapidly growing challenges to global food security and human well-being. Unless important policy reforms are undertaken today, water scarcity and pollution will adversely affect most, if not all, livelihoods in the coming decades.
By Linh Tong. The latest Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy took place from October 25-27 in Yangon, Myanmar. This forum is the biggest annual affair aiming to raise awareness and share research-based knowledge about sustainable development in the Greater Mekong region among NGOs, policymakers, private entities, and development agencies.
How many different ways can you measure a river? By its length and how many countries it passes through? The volume of water flowing along its course? The number of species it supports? Marc Goichot of WWF reports on the Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy.
Development decisions are often framed and made with limited engagement with local communities. A new book examines collective action and shows how it can provide us with a better definition of development that ensures its benefits and risks are shared more fairly.
If we utilize our water better upstream, what will happen downstream? Will water availability decrease? Is watershed improvement a zero-sum game with the gains upstream deducted from the situation downstream, or is it an overall system improvement? Or if we take a broader view of water-related ecosystems services, how does more intense upstream water use have an impact on all relevant ecosystem services in the entire area? Who are the winners and who are the losers? Frank van Steenbergen, Tesfa-alem Gebreegziabher Embaye and Eyasu Hagos take a crack at answering these questions.
While pollution of the Ganges appears to be an insoluble problem, demand for water – driven mainly by farming – is actually drying out certain sections of the river. Solutions exist but they require a complete rethink of current institutional frameworks and business models.
Hydropower development in Uttarakhand, India has been stalled due to disagreements with local communities. A research project recommends new policies on fair and structured benefits-sharing to ensure mutually beneficial and sustainable hydropower development.